A Road Trip Stop at Wendy’s

On a road trip a few weeks ago we steered our 6 person, gas guzzling, but entirely cozy, SUV into a Wendy’s for halfway home dinner.  I’m a fan of Wendy’s but hadn’t been to one in a while.

Like other fast food restaurants, Wendy’s is trying to increase its offerings, both healthy and unhealthy, and give the interior decor a warmer, sit down restaurant kind of feel.

I have no opinion on the decor (sure looked like a Wendy’s to me), but I figured it was time to put one of my favorite fast food joints to the Eat by Stars test.

We’ll cover best and worst in sandwiches, salads, and sides.  And the Frosty will make an appearance.  Full Wendy’s Nutritional Info

Sandwiches & Nuggets

It’s easy to pick a burger at Wendy’s that won’t weigh you down, opt for those with “Junior” in the title.  Outside of that, you’re in risky waters.

The chicken sandwiches fall in the middle with the grilled sandwich being vastly superior (and 200 calories lighter) than the breaded Spicy and Homestyle varieties.  A wrap is decent compromise. And for nuggets, the 5 piece isn’t the worst thing ever.  But adding the dipping sauces (esp ranch) is a major pothole.

Best: Junior Hamburger  calories 250, fat 10g, carbs 25g, protein 15g, (salt 26% DV)

Worst: 3/4 lb Triple    calories 1060, fat 67g, carbs 42g, protein 72g, (salt 87% DV)

Salads

Like every restaurant, fast food or otherwise, you can go incredibly right or horribly wrong with your salad choice.  Grabbing the half-size portion is a step in the right direction.  As always, a wise ( i.e. non-creamy) dressing choice can make or break your field of greens.

 Best: Apple Pecan Chicken Salad  calories 350, fat 11g, carbs 30g, protein 35g, (salt 41% DV)

Worst: Baja Salad  calories 540, fat 32g, carbs 34g, protein 32g, (salt 69% DV)

 Sides

Wendy’s has followed suit with McDonald’s and is offering healthier options to accompany your sandwich.  The default is still fries, which usually contain as many calories as your between bread choice.

I don’t consider it a side, but a bowl of chili is a decent fast food option.  Skip the crackers and cheese and you’ll save adding 100 calories to the 310 calorie large cup of hot beans and beef.

Best: Apple Slices calories 40, fat 0g, carbs 9g, protein0g

Worst: Chili Cheese Fries  calories 570, fat 30g, carbs 58g, protein 18g, (salt 48% DV)

 The Frosty®

Per SMALL: calories 300, fat 8g, carbs 49g, protein 7g

Ever dip your fries in a frosty?  It’s marvelously delicious.  And as healthy as ice cream covered french fries would seem.  Hey, when you’re a 16-year-old boy with a bottomless pit you can handle anything.  Those were the days…

Anyway, the Frosty is ice cream.  Ice cream is a treat.  I didn’t know they had “Frosty Shakes” but I’m glad I do now.  They’re roughly twice as bad as the standard version. 

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